Pre-Workout Meal Defined
When we think of meals, sometimes we picture cooking, sitting down to eat, and cleaning up after. But a pre-workout meal doesn’t have to be a formal affair.
Instead, any kind of nutrients you put in your body count as a meal in this case. Whether that’s a fully prepared traditional meal, or something as simple as a shake or smoothie.
Another point to clarify, pre-workout refers to a window of time leading up to a resistance training session. And that could be anywhere from 2 hours to 30 minutes before you hit the weights.
Why Is The Pre-Workout Meal Important?
Eating before your workout fuels intense training while setting the stage for recovery and growth.
Also, the kind of food you eat dictates your metabolic state. And that affects the amount of fat and carbs that you burn while you workout.
So let’s take a look at different types of foods in terms of macronutrients.
Whatever your goal, it’s almost always a good idea to get some protein in before your workout.
The reason is that your body uses amino acids during intense training. And if they’re not readily available from your diet, your body will break down your muscles to get them.
Therefore, eating protein before a workout is the best defense against losing muscle.
When you’re doing anaerobic workouts like weight lifting, carbs are your body’s preferred energy source. So it’s no mystery why pre-workout carbs are beneficial for muscle building.
But that doesn’t mean you should always eat carbs before the gym. In fact, you should keep carbs to a minimum if your goal is fat burning. Because your body will burn more fat when carbs are not immediately available.
Dietary fat is another potential energy source for workouts. And you can bump up your fat intake with a low carb meal for a fat-burning workout.
But you should consume fat in moderation with a high carb meal before a muscle-building workout.